SHOPPING TOUR GUIDE IN BARCELONA

The first time I visited Barcelona over twenty years ago I fell in love with the place. Renowned for the architectural works of Antoni Gaudi, Llouis Domenech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafach and world-famous for art, culture, fashion, shopping and Barcelona football clubBarcelona is the mezzo for all things creative, innovative and inspirational. It is a city, much like London, Sydney, China and New York were visiting just once is never enough! So when time on mother natures earth is precious, and there is so much to do and see in Barcelona make sure you book tickets in advance and pencil in a sexy schedule of sorts to avoid missing out. 

book one of my Barcelona shopping tours & check out my top Barcelona travel tips below. 

PERSONAL SHOPPER IN BARCELONA 

(FULL DAY)

What should I wear? This is one of the constitutional questions we ask ourselves or our partner every day. Something new, something designer, something different something clean, something grown in a laboratory, something smartly manufactured? We are very casual about clothes and shopping for clothes so it is time to get dressed with intention and let me personally shop for you. Book my personal shopper experience in Barcelona and relax while I think for you. 

450 euros.

SHOPPING TOUR GUIDE IN BARCELONA (3 HOURS)

If you are interested in discovering independent local shops and designers with a greener cleaner production and process this Barcelona shopping tour is just up your bright green shopping street. We will visit a number of local shops in a gorgeous little neighbourhood, meet local designers in their workshop and you will have the opportunity to buy local hand-made produce at an exclusive personal shopper discount so pack a tote bag, pop your comfy shoes on and let's have some sight-seeing shopping fun in Barcelona. 

55.00 euros (please note this is a group tour). 

TESTIMONIALS

Helen Knowles, Teacher

I booked a full day to find my wedding dress. After a 30minute consultation over coffee, we visited three truly stunning bridal suites where  Angela selected and found my dream wedding dress. Then after a healthy lunch, we sourced my shoes and accessories and I did not want the day to end. I highly recommend this service.

Alys LIwelyn-Hughes,

Singer & Songwriter

I have booked different sessions with Angela, re-booking and returning time and time again. She is effortlessly stylish and I always make me feel great.

Kat Jane Massey, Author

I booked an afternoon session with a group of six women for a promotional photo shoot. She followed my brief and sourced fitting outfits. She is easy to be around and made some of the more nervous women feel at ease.

The Author of Living With Dolls.

Sarah Webster, Consultant

I booked Angela for an afternoon session to source my wedding gown and accessories. She literally profiled me, measured me and knew actually what fashion brand would work within my budget. I actually bought the first dress she asked me to try on and the same goes for my shoes. She knows what she is doing and she knew actually what style worked on my body-shape.   

Ruthie Gwilyn Thomas, Actress

A friend recommended Angela so I booked an afternoon session to find an occasional evening dress. The service was excellent, really fun and relaxed, yet still very professional. However, the size I required in the dress I wanted, was not available. Instead of trying to push other dresses that were not as nice on me, she was honest and open and gave me other ideas.

Photograph pending.

Carol Thomas,

Cheshire East Borough Mayoress & Chair.

I use Angela's service for important public appearances. I recently booked an afternoon session with Angela as I had the pleasure of being invited to afternoon tea with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Angela selected three stunning outfits which I could not choose between, so I bought all of them. She even organised a chauffeur and I sat with a glass of local wine while I waited. It was wonderful.

Fatemeh Samani, Store Manager

One of my bosses uses this shopping service. At her last session, my boss was so impressed with it that she re-booked a session for me! Angela listens and sourced me an amazing capsule wardrobe which I would have never picked myself. She is everything a Personal Shopper should be. Knowledgable, professional, energetic and kind. I would highly recommend her service. 

Helen Kipling, Environmental Scientist

Work bought me a half-day session as part of my annual bonus award. The personal profiling session was absolutely brilliant and even though I was late Angela still managed to put together a really subtle capsule wardrobe for my business trip to Dubai. She explained the dress code for the trip and various information about local culture and showed me four ways of wearing a shirt dress and linen scarf allowing me to pack for the trip more effectively. She is so lovely and really helpful and kind.

Chantel Joubert-Kelly, Client Relations Manager

I live in New York so on route to a wedding in Spain I booked a personal shopper for the afternoon as we do not know Barcelona and time was limited. Angela took us directly to the shops we wanted to experience while sharing her local knowledge with us. We felt relaxed and safe and our allocated time slot worked perfectly with our schedule. I bought loads of unique locally sourced designer garments that I would not have found without her. I would recommend her service.

26 USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW WHEN YOU VISIT BARCELONA

BARCELONA TOP SHOPPING TIPS

ARRIVING IN BARCELONA

When you arrive in Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat airport you can reach the city via Renfe (overground train), Aerobus, taxi or a previously booked chauffeur. You can also opt for two other airports Girona and Rues, both of which are 120km from Barcelona.

Renfe costs 5.95 euros, duration 45 minutes

Aerobus costs 2.15 euros, duration 35 mins

Taxi costs 22-25 euros, duration 35 minutes

If you opt for the Renfe or Aerobus buy a T-10 travel card for 11.00 euros. This has ten single journeys on it so you can use it on your way back or while you are in Barcelona. You can also use it on buses and trams. You can buy a T-10 when you arrive at the airport at the ticket machine by the train platform. Barcelona city does not sleep, so do not worry if you arrive really late as there will always be staff and other people to help you.

VISITORS CANNOT USE BICING

I always see travellers trying to work out the app at Bicing stations. I love Bicing, I use them all the time. However, to use Bicing you must be a resident with official documentation, NIE, social security etc. so don't waste time here as you cannot use Bicing and you have loads of other very cool transport options.

ECOOLTRA ECOLOGICAL SCOOTERS

Ecooltra is probably my second scooter of choice. It is much lighter than the Yego so doesn't feel as safe. Still, it is good value and gets you from A to B. It operates in the same way as Yego, download the app, book it, walk over to it and ride. You get charged for every mile so do not dilly dally, but take it easy as the road is busy. Download the app here. 

RECYCLING IS A BIG THING HERE

You may see men and women collecting different types of plastic and wrought-iron waste pollution in a shopping trolley. I have spoken with them and it is paid work, furthermore, the job recycles unwanted human-waste in the city. You will also notice city council waste disposal workers driving small vans which spray the streets and detox the public realm 24/7. Recycling is a big thing here, the streets are clean so keep it clean and bin it! 

LOCAL CULTURE

The culture of Spain is based on a variety of historical influences, primarily pre-Roman Celtic and Iberian culture. The Ancient Romans left a lasting legacy in the Spanish culture because Rome created Hispania as a political and legal unit. Spanish folkloristic traditions, certainly flamenco, bullfights, street parades and festivals play a central role in the way Spanish and Catalan people cohabit. Spaniards and Catalan people have been decorating streets, building bonfires, setting off fireworks, holding celebrations to honour their local saints in churches, cities, towns and villages for centuries. They know how to party. Castellers, a Catalan tradition dating back to 1712 in Tarragona is a human tower. The towers represent solidarity and community spirit. They are scheduled once a month, so hopefully, you will get to experience one on your visit. It is a beautiful yet emotional experience so review the 2020 schedule here and remember to take a hanky.

THE BEST ORGANIC WINE TASTING

When I moved here, I was familiar with only a few ecological wines, until my local Bodega encouraged me to sample more of his regional wines. 

 

Ecological wine is distinctively different on the palate, the notes are more subtle and the appearance is cloudy. I avoid sulphates so really enjoy the clean crisp taste of organic wine, then I discovered the organic vineyard Barcelona tasting tours so if you love wine and want to experience it alongside golf, sailing or cava making choose from one of a number of wine tasting tours here.

ORDERING A BEER IN SPAIN

There are seven ways to order a beer in Spain so I see this common mistake all the time. The waiter/waitress asks a group of people what they want, they reply 'beer' and everyone ends up with a tankard when the intention was only to wet their whistle! The most common beer to order is a caña which is a small glass of beer, just slightly smaller than a half-pint in the UK. A caña works perfectly if you are sight-seeing and stopping off for a quick tapa along the way. Know your stuff before you arrive. 

ORGANIC EATS

Barcelona is famous for Michelin star restaurants and a scattering of El Bulli chefs across the city. If you want to experience something other than fine dining consider Tickets restaurant by chef Albert Adria. Failing availability choose from El Barri collective. If you aren't visiting Barcelona just yet, be sure to check out Alberts Cakes & Bubbles in London. 

 

Back to Barcelona. So whether you are a flexitarian, vegan or vegetarian you will be pleased to know that despite the heavy meat focus in Barcelona there are loads of vegetarian, vegan and organic options. If you want to experience the 5 best organic restaurants in Barcelona browse here via The Fork

SIGN UP FOR A RUN

If you enjoy running, be it a 5K, 10K, half marathon or a marathon there is nothing more exhilarating than visiting a city and taking part in a scheduled run. I have raced in a number of marathons and I can honestly say the Barcelona marathon is in my top 3 marathons. Most of the runs in Barcelona start early, so if you are travel savvy you can schedule a run first thing, followed by a tapas lunch to celebrate. Browse the 2020 schedule here before you book your flight. 

CARBON NETURAL LIMOUSINES 

Calm tends to wash over you when you spot a chauffeur with your name on an iPad ready to whisk you to your destination.

 

Whether you are arriving in Barcelona or hopping between shops, restaurants or meetings I can highly recommend Blacklane who use top-tier electric business-class vehicles which are 100% carbon neutral. Their service is seamless and if you are tired they do the thinking for you. Book here.

DONKEY REPUBLIC BIKE RENTAL

Cycling around Barcelona is so much fun. Public cycling paths are excellent as most of the cycling path runs through the centre of the road which allows you to sight-see freely without being directly on the road with traffic. Check where you are going before you set off because the cycle path stops along the way and you will need to be road savvy. Donkey Republic is a bike hire company, they are easy to use, you just download the app, create an account, unlock the bike using your phone and ride. Remember to lock the bike up if you sit down for lunch or refreshments. You can download the app here. 

SCOOTER HOUSE ELECTRIC HIRE

Stand up scooters go faster than you think. They can reach 30mph so if you hire one wear a helmet and be super careful. What can I say, I am a health and safety conscious English woman. You may be fined 50 euros for going too fast on the pavement, so take it easy, slow right-down when you see older residents, or when it is busy and most importantly have fun. Check out Jetscoot here.

be street savvy

Like all busy cities, there are cops, robbers, pirates and superheroes everywhere! Remember, scum-bags make a living from robbing people so keep your wallet, mobile phone and money on your body or in an across-body-bag in front of you. Vermin often work in packs, someone will talk to you, while someone else pick-pockets. It is worse than the Piccadilly line on the Tube in London so keep your head up, shoulders back and look anyone shifty in the eye! In the same breath, there is always a police presence in busy areas of Barcelona so you should feel safe. Just have your wits about you and if you see anything odd walk over to an officer and high-light the issue.

LOCAL FOOD YOU MUST TRY

The Mediterranean diet appears to be why Spanish people live longer healthier lives. Small plates of fresh local produce aka tapas is a way of life so make sure you try these specialities ; 

 

Pardons - small spicy green peppers

Plato de mahon - Catalan cheese

Escalivada - marinated grilled vegetables 

Esqueixada - Salt cod salad

Tortilla - thick potato & egg omelette

Paella - is the traditional paella of the Valencia region, containing: grain rice, bajoqueta and tavella (varieties of green beans), rabbit, chicken, sometimes duck, garrofó (a variety of lima or butter bean), and optionally snails.

Fideau - Catalan pasta Paella (noodles)

Pinchos - varies tapas on bread

Anchovies - usually pickled anchovies

Patates bravas - small chunky potatoes

Pan de Tomate - tomate bread

Iberia Jamon - corn fed ham

Curado atún y almendras - cured tuna & almonds

Pulpo - octopus & sweet potato puree

Creme Catalan - custard tart Catalan style

Turron - sweet Spanish treat containing honey, eggs, nuts (originally almonds) and sugar. 

SHOPPING DISTRICTS 

Whether you are last of the big spenders, a shopaholic, a fashion junkie, a window shopper or a socially conscious consumer Barcelona has shops in abundance for every type of shopper.

 

There are eight large shopping districts, so head to the district that suits your budget and time-frame best. If you wish to book a shopping tour guide, shopping with a personal shopper is a really fun way to shop here.

 

Alternatively choose from the following shopping districts: La Maquinista, Diagonal Mar. Mercat de Sant Antoni, Passeig de Gràcia, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, El Raval. You won't get round them all so plan ahead.

USEFUL SPANISH PHRASES

Not everyone speaks the international language, so show willing by learning a few Spanish words. Also, never just sit the family down at a table, the Waiter/Waitress manages reservations so always speak to him/her first. Remember someone else could be waiting inside for a table so always ask and wait. Customer service is relaxed in Spain so patience is key.

Okay, a few Spanish words:

Uno, dos, tres, cuatro = 1,2,3,4

Hola (o-la) = Hello

Buenas Dias = Good day

Gracias (Gra-c-as) = Thank you

Por Favor (por fa-bor) = Please

Adiós = Goodbye

Una mesa para dos = A table for two

Cafe con leche = coffee with milk

Americano = Americano (black coffee)

Cafe solo = Expresso

Te verdi = green tea

Una /dos cerveza = a beer /2 beers

Vino blanco seco = Dry white vine

Vino tinto por favor = Red wine

Cava por favor = sparking wine please.

Don't worry if you do not get it right, trying shows willing so just go for it!

BARCELONA BASED BOOKS   

There is something really exciting about reading a book about a city you are about to visit. Before you visit Barcelona find time to read at least one of the books below, which are based in Barcelona of which I can happily recommend:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Safon

1964 by George Orwell

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Homage to Barcelona by Colm Toibin

Slow travels in unsung Spain by Brett Hetherington

Marks of Identity by Juan Goytisolo

How to kill your friends by Phil Kurthausen

IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 112

If you find yourself in a touch of strife call the police on 112. 

GETTING AROUND BARCELONA

Getting around the city by foot, bike, electrical bikes or electrical scooter is the most environmentally friendly option. Albeit, jumping in a black and yellow taxi, like the image below is another option as taxis are everywhere. If a taxi is available you will see the word 'Liberate' lite up in green on the roof. This means the taxi is free, so wave or whistle and jump aboard.

 

 Due to a number of taxi wars, Uber recently suspended its service in Barcelona so do not waste time downloading the app, as there are loads of electrical eco-friendly options across the city.

YEGO ELECTRIC SCOOTER HIRE

I use different methods of environmentally friendly ways to travel around Barcelona. I have tested different eco-electric scooters comparing availability, safety, comfort, customer service and speed. My favourite scooter is Yego as it feels safer than its competitors. All you have to do is register an account, then use the app to find the nearest Yego scooter, book it and walk across to it. They all have their own name, Bert, Ben, Boris, etc. It is easy  to download the app here. 

BRING OR BUY A THERMAL FLASK

There are public drinking fountains all over Barcelona. Either bring a thermal flask or buy one when you arrive. This is a more environmentally friendly approach to being in a city and it reduces waste pollution and will save you money. 

ART AND CULTURE

There are 15 impressive museums in Barcelona and roughly 25 independent art galleries not to mention the many art studios you will see so you are spoilt for choice. However, when time is of the essence you may have to narrow your favourite artists down. I have visited many of them, but I am still making my way around them all. My favourites so far are Fundació Joan Miró, Museu Picasso, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CCCB, CosmoCaixa. There are loads so check out the list and make a frugal choice. 

CATALAN ART NOUVEAU

Barcelona is world-renowned for its modernism or Catalan art nouveau designed by Antoni Gaudi, Josep Puig I Cadafalch and Lluis Domenech i Montaner, just to name a few of the more popular Spanish architects. After reading the 'Complete Works of Antoni Gaudi', I made a point of visiting each masterpiece, but if your time is limited I suggest you visit sites in close proximity such as :

El Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Park Guell and Casa Batllo. These are in good walking distance from each other and you can opt to sight-see externally for free, although the internal tours are jaw-dropping, particularly if you enjoy design and architecture. It can be difficult to get tickets to go inside El Basilica de la Sagrada Familia when you arrive here so book this in advance.

GREEN SHOPPING TOUR

Whether you are in Barcelona for 2-3 days, or you have the pleasure of exploring the city for a couple of weeks, remember Barcelona is the mecca of art, design and fashion so make sure you allocate at least one day to explore the shops with intention.

 

I can offer you a really interesting 3-hour shopping tour which is possibly one of the most authentic shopping tours available across Barcelona. From 11-14.00 you will on foot explore a local neighbourhood, meet sustainable fashion designers in their workshop and get an insight into the process behind 'how to' make a greener, cleaner product.

 

Absorb the hem, trim, cuff and collar of Catalonia, and so much more all with an exclusive discount. Book here 

WALK OR RUN ALONG THE BEACH

Barcelona is a beach-lined city surrounded by mountains, pine forests and a coastline stretching along the Costa Brava. If you enjoy mixing the city with nature Barcelona offers this experience. There are 15 beaches in Barcelona, but if time is limited absorb 1-7 in one go, starting from Bogatell beach up to Barceloneta beach this will take you a couple of hours with gorgeous pit stops at each beach offering breakfast, lunch or dinner discover more here.

HANDBAG ESSENTIALS

When travelling abroad it is inevitable that you will be out and about all day. Cities are full of people sharing public spaces, touching doorknobs and sharing the same toilets so make sure you are set, by wearing comfy shoes and by carrying handbag essentials:

Hand- sanitation

Bio-degradable tissues

Handkerchief

A spare tote bag

Shades and SPF

Thermal flask (refill at water fountains)

Portable mobile charger 

Plasters

Small change for a small tip (10% is usually already included in the bill, so don't tip twice).

Outside A Circus

Outside a Circus is an eccentric hat shop inspired by plants and nature, Shopping tours in Barcelona and a green fashion, shopping and interiors blog.

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